Friday, February 28, 2014

5 for Friday!

Excited to be linking up again for another 5 for Friday post with Carolina Charm and ladies! As many of you know, D.J. and I head out to Spring Training on Monday! We plan to spend the last weekend at home enjoying family, getting a couples massage, and cleaning the house- how fun!  I am so lucky that I am able to go out for the first week and get a little taste of the warm weather.  Today's 5 I am loving are Arizona focused!


one. warm weather
I haven't seen those numbers on a thermometer since St. Lucia and this girl is in some desperate need of vitamin D.

two. seeing friends
Last year, I was so fortunate to meet a few other ladies that have husbands on the team with D.J.  Maria, who is married to Eric Haase, has been out there since the beginning of February so I am excited to see her again! Last time I saw her she was skinny minny and now she is 7 months pregnant!! I am so excited to welcome that little baby boy into this world! We plan to relax, go to the pool, and I am going to get some good workouts in. Thanks to the technology world, Chelsea and I were able to finally figure out our long lost connection and I am so excited to finally meet in person and chat Advocare with her! Karlyn was able to get off work for a few days and will head out on Thursday and fly back the same day as I do!

three. beautiful views
I love the fact that Arizona has such a different landscape than Virginia. There are random mountains that jump out of no where that look like ant hills! The first time I visited, we made a trip up to see the red rocks and that was just so beautiful.  Nothing like I have even seen before. Driving to the complex you drive right past an airport and it is so cool to see the plane all lined up!

four. Nicholas Sparks'  The Longest Ride
So excited to finally read this new book.  I have been saving it since Christmas and cannot wait to sit down and actually have time to read a book!

five. baseball
Come August, I will probably not be posting about how excited I am to go watch my 100th baseball game this season, but right now I am so excited to see my man play.  It has been a great off season, but we are ready to get this season rolling.  I am excited to attend some MLB Spring Training games and spend some quality time in AZ with D.J. before officially starting the season. Oh and of course, I am most excited about seeing my man in his uniform! Gotta love those baseball pants.

Happy Friday Link up y'all!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

#tbt: Wedding Reception

To be quite honest, our wedding reception was by far the most fun party I have ever been at! Clearly I am a little bias, but it was pretty awesome.  Everything turned out exactly how I wanted it.  Everyone we cared about was there and we were so honored to have so many friends and family there.

We were introduced to "Swing" by Trace Atkins and similar to the sword arch that Navy weddings have, we used a bat arch! Courtesy of Mr. Jake Lowery for the bats! 

Our first day was "Better Half" by Keith Urban.  We both have loved that song throughout our relationship and I think it explains our life perfectly.  My favorite line of the song is "Behind every man is a good woman, but I think that's a lie. 'Cuz when it comes to you I'd rather have you by my side." Dancing with D.J. is not an easy task.  It is exhausting to look up at him the whole time! We can't have those cute little kisses, we can't talk to one another, so we cut the song a little short!

This is one of my favorite pictures.  It isn't that great of a picture of me, but I love how he captured the father daughter dance with D.J. and his mom in the background. 

t went to the tasting.  I had previously tried a cupcake and knew that they were delicious.  Carla, the owner is by far the sweetest and easiest lady to work with.  She started the business when she was 50 because sh

We went with cupcakes from Just Cupcakes and they were fabulous! I was sold on them before we evene wanted to do something new.  She has now been on Cupcake Wars three times and has two stores in the Virginia Beach area.  The wire letters on top were made by Kendall (of course) and spray painted with silver glitter.  We did these the night before the wedding! 

After people took their name cards, the table was transformed to the wedding favors and ribbon send off! We had koozies as our give away and since the Navy base does not allow sparklers, we improvised and made ribbon pom-poms with bells on them!

All the signs you see were designed by Kendall and the fabric came from no one other than Kendall. Needless to say, all the decorations and detail of the reception would have been boring without her.

Julie and Bradley did a great job on their toasts.  I loved hearing how our relationship has grown in their eyes.

We took a JMU Dukes picture with the flag!

Of course we had to do a little "Hitch" dance move show for our guests!

The bouquet toss was so fun! It was so surreal because the last time I caught the bouquet at a wedding, I got proposed to within 5 minutes! We always joked that it would be fun to see our friends do the same thing! However, neither Conner nor Jake were ready to pop the question! Karlyn, who caught the bouquet got proposed to by Jake on New Years Eve

Our 6 year old cousin Liam caught the garter! Ironically, his father caught the garter at my parents wedding!

The rest of the reception got a little crazy.  Boys shirts were coming unbuttoned, people were on shoulders, I had glow sticks in my hair, and dance moves were being busted! We ended the night at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown with a beautiful view of the Elizabeth River.  It was a great night!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

1 of 6 2014 Weddings: Neil and Allena

This weekend was the first of our 6 weddings for 2014.  We were so lucky to be a part of Allena and Neil's big day and so excited for them to start their lives together.
Friday night we headed to the temple for the rehearsal.  I headed straight from work so just packed a change of clothes with me.  After we practiced a few times, we were off to Harbor Park, home of the AAA Norfolk Tides baseball stadium. Allena and I grew up going to Tides games with her parents and it was only fitting to have the rehearsal dinner at Hits at the Park.  The food was delicious and it was so fun to be at a baseball stadium with D.J. and not FOR D.J. We were able to get on the field and take some pictures before the rain started.

Since Neil doesn't really like cake, we made him a beer cake with Coors Light cans! All guests were given koozies and crackers jacks to take home!

Saturday started off early with hair at Regis Salon.  The environment was a little crowded, but all in all, our hair looked amazing! I loved that we got started early and had all day to take in the love and excitement leading up to the wedding! We headed back to the temple to eat some lunch. Rachel came to do make up around 1:00 and we all took turns getting all done up! 

Our dresses were beautiful! 

Flowers were so unique and I loved having flowers I didn't have to worry about breaking!

The wedding was set to start at 6 p.m. so we watched as Allena and Neil did their first look and went to the front of the temple to take some pictures. The weather was beautiful and allowed the photographer to get some great shots.  I personally love the picture I snapped of Allena while we were taking pics. Doesn't she just look so happy?

I was not able to grab the newlyweds together, but I did get one of me and D.J. 

Wedding #2 is set for June 14 in Harrisonburg, VA! We are so honored to be able to share the love that Billy and Hillary have for each other and see them say "I do!" Until then, its back to the Arizona countdown, which is now 5 days!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

#tbt: Wedding Details

Details of weddings are my absolute favorite. Our photographer captured ever little detail I was hoping for and many more.  I seriously love the one of all the dresses hanging up.  Something about the picture of my mom and Kori (my cousin's) dress is just so stunning.  Hope you enjoy all the details as much as I did! 

Something old was my grandmothers ring with her first husband, Bob on the left.  She gave that to me on Christmas 2012. 

This was another Something old.  This was from my great-grandmother and has been used by many family members on my mom's side of the family. 

My beautiful Something New from my loving husband! 

The bridesmaids dresses were Bill Levkoff.

Wine Bag, Wedding Krafters, Kendall Richards

Thank you gift for the shower hostess, bridal brunch hostess, and the ladies that let us get ready at their house! Hand made wine bags! 

Mother of the Bride dress and my cousins dress. 

Everyone has to have a "Mrs." hanger. 

Alpha sigma Tau, Badge, Sorority, something borrowed

Something Borrowed: Kendall's Sorority Badge.  I wore this on the inside of my wedding dress over my heart.
yellow rose, wedding party flowers

The girls bouqets were yellow roses with lilies.  The boys had a single yellow rose.
bouquet, bride, white roses
My flowers were off white roses wrapped with a silk ribbon. 

Next week will be the last wedding post and I will show you pictures from the reception! This is where the party really got crazy!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

#baseballwifelife - t minus 2 weeks

Over the next two weeks we will wrap up our first off season as Mr. and Mrs. Brown. Another off season in the books and I am looking forward to taking on our first full season as husband and wife.  Baseball has this way of bringing people together that may not have connected otherwise.  For example, I recently had the chance to connect with Chelsea, whose husband plays with the Arizona Diamondbacks!  Funny story- D.J. and her hubby played together in a summer league before they got drafted and that's what started our conversation! She blogs over at The Minor League Picture and wrote the best MiLB Survival Guide. As she traveled last season with her husband, she has more experience in the "on location" wife than I do.  She inspired me to write a post more about how to survive Spring Training and the season from the ladies perspective if you don't plan on traveling with your husband/fiance/boyfriend.  Thanks so much to Hannah, Toni, Tiffany, Steelie, Jana, and Laura for all their help with this list! 


one. send care packages
Everyone loves to get a package in the mail.  Candy, snacks, gift cards for restaurants, new socks, pictures or whatever makes him feel like he is at home are all good things to include!

two. live by family and friends
Being close to my family and friends really makes it so much easier when you are living alone.  This is the first season I will be alone in our house and I have to admit, I am a little freaked out.  We just got the security system installed so that makes me feel better.  I don't think I could live alone if my parents were not a few blocks away.  When we bought the house, we knew that we wanted to be close to my parents for this exact reason.  Having family so close really makes the transition to being a pretend bachelorette again easy!

three. plan trips
 Having a countdown to seeing your man is awesome.  One tip though, don't start the countdown earlier than 15 days.  You will just get your hopes up too early and the time will go by too slow.  These planned trips are a perfect way to break up the season into different periods.  Sometimes when we are away from each other the time we get to be together really makes it so much more special.  On the other hand, it never hurts to have a spontaneous trip every now and then.  Especially if your man is close enough to drive.  I have heard horror stories of us ladies traveling across country for the weekend to see our men and then they get moved up right when you get there. Overall, if you are doing long distance for the season, any time that you have to see each other is better than no time.
Another thing to consider is booking another trip before you go home from the current trip you are on! This is a good way to make goodbye easier and have something to look forward to in the upcoming months!
Whenever you do have time together, make sure to embrace every little detail.  Notice what shirt he wears, the cologne he sprayed, or the way he holds your hand.  We get so used to using our phone to communicate with each other when we are apart that sometimes when we are together it's hard to put the phone down.  We always say "get out of the box".
Getting to see each other for 6 months out of the year makes each reunion like another honeymoon! So splurge whenever you do see each other.  Treat yourself to a nice dinner and a movie.  Do something you normally wouldn't do.  Make memories.   It may not be St. Lucia, but any place with your man is better than without him!

four. get a puppy
OK, now I know this is not ideal for most people, but it was perfect for us! We knew that getting Stryker was the next step for us since we were planning on not traveling together this season.  Only hard part was that I got Stryker in May when D.J. was still playing so he didn't get to see him as a puppy! Stryker really keeps me occupied during the season with walks, runs, beach dates, baths, dinner, etc!! I think that when D.J. leaves, he is going to miss Stryker more than he will miss me.  The two of them have gotten so close and I know Stryker will miss playing fetch with D because I cannot throw nearly as far as he can! I plan to take him to see his daddy as many times as I can this season! Coming home from work to an empty house is going to be hard, but seeing this little pups face is going to make it so much easier!

five. plan a wedding
Clearly I have already been in this situation last season, but this was a HUGE time occupier. We have a dear friend who is planning her wedding while her fiance is currently in Arizona and it reminded me how great it was to plan during the season! From cake tasting, to picking out invitations, wedding planning does not seem to slow down from the time you get engaged to the very last day! Sometimes having your fiance away during this time can get challenging.  For me, the only hard part was deciding on food (which happened to be the main thing D.J. cared about).  He could care less about the flowers and the cake tasting (conveniently I scheduled those all for when he was here so he had to come). If you want to marry a professional baseball player, you better envision your wedding between September and February because there is no way that Spring wedding is happening!
For more details on our wedding , click here!

six. plan facetime/skype dates
To think that less than 5 years ago, we didn't even have FaceTime is crazy! We should all be so thankful for the technology advancements over the past 5 years that allow us to see our loved ones anytime we want! Sometimes all we need is a little face-to-face to make the day go by easier.  Know that whenever you are free may not be the best time for him, so try and work together on a time that will work for both of you!

seven. learn how to communicate
I think we can all agree that the key to a good relationship is communication. This lifestyle makes it a little more challenging because often we are in different time zones or on different schedules and finding time to talk is hard. After games you may be thinking "time to talk to my hubby" when he could be thinking "all I want to do right now is put my Beats on and tune out the world".  Most people that I have asked have said that their relationship during the season gets stronger because they are separated.  It really makes the time together so much more special and allows couples to grow stronger in each others absence.  I could continue on about communication for a while, but I think everyone in this situation has about mastered the communications part.  If not, it will come with time!

eight. focus on the positives
When I asked the ladies on the MiLB Wives and Girlfriends Facebook page for some input on this blog post, I got feedback on things I had already included, but Steelie reminded me of something very important.  Focus on the positives.  When I first thought about this, I was focusing on the fact that D.J. is living his dream, getting better at baseball, being able to focus 100% of the time since I am not there. That is all true, but she was also referring to focus on MY positives.  While D.J. is gone I get to focus on myself.  I can stock the fridge with the food I want. I can go to the gym whenever works for me.  Focusing on the positives that I will be able to accomplish while it's just me will be great.

nine. surround yourself with people that "get it"
Over the past year, D.J. and I have gotten a lot of questions that I am sure many other baseball wives/gf/fiances get as well.
So how are y'all going to make this work?
What do you mean you aren't going to be living together?
Why even get married in the first place?
You bought a house but may not even settle down here?
It is crucial to surround yourself with people that "get it".  Trying to justify why you don't travel with your man is not fair.  It is only important that you and your man are on the same page and that whatever you decided to do (travel or not), it is what is best for you and your family.  People that do not get the lifestyle we live find it hard to understand why we do things the way we do.  It truly is one of the things that you don't understand until you are on the inside.  Although there are things I wish would be different, I would not trade this lifestyle for anything.  I know that one day down the line I will be able to travel with D.J. but for now, we plan to master this long distance minor league baseball lifestyle!


Thanks for reading the long post! Please leave any comments on what I forgot to include in ways that make the long season or any long distance relationship bearable!